American-born English author Patrick Ness's fundraising appeal for Save the Children, instigated last week with his offer to match up to £10,000, has now raised £660,000, or just over $1 million.
Rosamund Lupton, David Nicholls and Andersen Press have all pledged £10,000 each. Marian Keyes did the same, and then gave £20,000 when her target was reached. The next £10,000 matchers on Friday were Francesca Simon, Jill Mansell, Anita Anand and Jessie Burton (who offered to name a character after anyone who donated £500), bringing donations up to £300,000. As promised, Virgin Money Giving waived all fees when the fund passed £250,000.
Ness appeared on BBC News, World News and London Live. Walker Books donated £10,000, and Candlewick Press gave $10,000 on top of matching employees' donations. (Two more of the authors who contributed to Thursday's American authors' consortium, Ness pointed out, were Holly Black and Alyson Noel.)
On Saturday, Cressida Cowell and Anthony Horowitz each match-funded another £10,000. An anonymous donor gave £20,000. And Ness donated a further £5,000 (on top of his original £10,000) when the number of donors passed 5,000.
Other groups were inspired to follow Ness's example. Sean Jones, for instance, set up the Billable Hour Appeal for lawyers, which has itself raised over £118,000. Reportedly accountants, and a group of Canadian lawyers, followed suit.
On Sunday morning, when the campaign seemed to be slowing down, Philip Pullman injected new energy with an offer of £10,000 when donations reached £435,000. Children's authors and illustrators at the Society of Authors' annual CWIG conference this weekend, encouraged by John Dougherty, together raised £3,000 (including from many who had already donated).
The Book Case bookshop in Hebden Bridge donated all of Saturday's profits to Ness's appeal, and is raffling a pile of books to raise funds. Scott Pack auctioned a full edit of a book, with bookseller Jonathan Main's second opinion, and a professional proof read by Kat Stephen; this raised £1,300. Publisher Suzie Doore and agent Juliet Mushens also offered a joint editorial critique to an applicant drawn from donors, and raised £816. Connor Goldsmith, Jennifer Udden and Miriam Weinberg offered agents' critiques on the same basis. Author Amy Plum offered a series of incentives to donors, including having a box of chocolates sent from Paris, and a video of her singing a song of their choice in front of the Eiffel Tower. Nicolette Jones auctioned off a one-hour children's book advice Q&A event.
With Gift Aid, and pledges to come, the still-climbing total is over £520,000. Not all donations have been large sums: "I found £3 in the rejected coins dispenser on a machine so thought I'd pass it on," one donor reported. Comments have been moving and entertaining--"All of us just live here," said one contributor (making a play on the title of Ness's new book The Rest of Us Just Live Here). Another sentiment, expressed by a few contributors, referred to the death of a character in Ness's YA series Chaos Walking. As one poster put it: "I'm ready to forgive you for Manchee now."
A version of this article originally appeared in the U.K. publication BookBrunch. This story was updated with new information on September 10.